Sunday, September 18, 2011

We Are Rescued

Galatians 1:3-5; NLT
May grace and peace be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. He died for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. That is why all glory belongs to God through all the ages of eternity. Amen. 

The Millennium Falcon and her passengers and crew are trapped aboard the Empire's deadly new battle station the Death Star. As the old Jedi Obi Wan Kenobi left the others to deactivate the tractor beam; the astro droid R2-D2 discovers that Princess Leia Organa is a prisoner on the battle station.

Luke Skywalker convinces the two pirates, Han Solo and Chewbacca, to join him in attempting to rescue the princess. Luke quickly formulates a plan that has him and Han, disguised as Stormtroopers, marching the large Wookie into the detention area. While things don't go smoothly, eventually the trio is able to rescue the Princess and escape the dreaded Death Star with the two droids and make it to the Rebel Alliance's secret base.

Every rescue attempt must first begin with a plan. A plan gives direction, clarifies goals, and it assigns responsibilities. A plan is essential to the success of the mission. Even God had a plan to rescue us from sin.

Galatians 1:3-5 tells us that God had a plan to rescue us from the evil world in which we live. God is not winging it when it comes to rescuing His creation from the grip of sin and death.  From the very beginning He had a plan of action in place. History contains the story of God unfolding His plan to save us.

The key figure in this rescue mission is Jesus. He is the hero, the warrior, the one who faces the enemy, and the one who rescues us from evil. Perhaps we should rethink the image we have of Jesus. He is the good teacher, but He is also the Captain of the Heavenly Armies. He is the sacrificial Lamb of God, but He is also the Lion from the tribe of Judah. Jesus in not only the Way, but He is also the Deliverer. Jesus has gone to battle for us and has emerged victorious!

It is for this; Jesus' victory over Satan, sin, and death; that we praise Him. We may debate the different theories of atonement or the necessity of baptism, but we can know for certain that our salvation and freedom come from the power and majesty of Jesus. He fought for us when we were powerless to fight for ourselves. He invaded the kingdom of darkness and secured our release even when we had sided with His enemies.

Why did Jesus do this? Because God loves us and it was His plan that we be saved. Jesus committed Himself to carrying out His responsibility because of love. Jesus' choice to rescue us demonstrates His obedience to the two great commitments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. We are rescued because of God's love. For that all glory and honor belong to Him.

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